Breathe Easy, Berlin

Sitting in a coffee shop on the border of Mitte and Prenzlauer Berg offers a vantage point not found in many other neighborhoods of this city. You have the young parents with their strollers mixed in with the crowds of tourists and hipstamatic twenty-somethings all paying for a hot coffee and a spot in the sunshine. New life has been breathed in to Berlin. At long last the long, hard days of winter are behind and the sun shines with a breeze in the air. Just cool enough so that you don’t burn under the glare of the sun, but still warm enough to feel your skin soaking up the rays.

Berlin in the springtime is probably the greatest place to people watch. Everyone comes out of their winter shells, smiles are seen and laughter heard from great distances as pale skin is kissed with a touch of pink from long walks in the park or through the flea markets. Every restaurant, bar, or ice cream shop has chairs on the sidewalk out front and every spot is taken as people are so grateful to feel the warmth of the spring air.

It makes you wonder how is it possible that just two months before the harsh winds were cutting through the air whipping you in its tracks. Gray skies were endless for days or even weeks at a time and bitter cold rains pounded the sidewalks and anyone who dared step in its path. Is it really possible that this is the same city? Where once people walked with their heads ducked avoiding contact with those around with their only urgency to seek shelter from the hard winter, they now beam with happiness, holding their ice cream cones or sipping their lattes with a new life force.

A new life is rushing through the city and where it once was so dark and dreary, it now feels beautiful and refreshing. For all the spring has to offer Berlin, I can only wait patiently for the glory of summer.

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